Football and Fractions: Super Bowl Math for Grade 6 Students

Prior to the Eagles and Patriots taking the field on Sunday, Feb. 4, Grade 6 math students competed head-to-head in a fast paced, high intensity, large scale game of Super Bowl Math. The fun exercise allowed students to solve numerous math problems as individuals and as teams.

In preparation for their kickoff, students picked which team they wanted to represent, organized food for their half-time festivities, and set the mood. The Math Stadium included a properly scaled down football field 4'x9' long, one-inch cubes built to represent field goals, refs, players, printed and hand created logos, advertisements, scoreboards, and signs.

Students arrived on game day dressed in sports attire with pencils in hand. Scrap paper was available throughout as students, one from each team, came up to the head table to be the first to ring the bell and quickly answer a question. All team members were listening intently and solving the problems from their table since questions answered incorrectly were passed to the team, as were field goal and touch down opportunities.

"Over the course of two days, many math questions were solved, mistakes were made, and lessons learned. Nervousness was followed by laughter, fun, food, and success. Congratulations to Grade 6 Math students for a game well played! And, much like the real game, the Eagles math students were victorious over the Patriots, 12-3, in our Super Bowl," said Lee Couch, MS Math Faculty and organizer of Super Bowl Math.

The Grade 6 Math Program is designed to finish and solidify the foundations of mathematics in arithmetic and basic geometry, as well as introduce abstract thinking in preparation for Algebra. By the end of the year, students are working with many forms of numbers simultaneously in complex problem: Integers, fractions, decimals and percentages. Proportional understanding, problem solving skills, and the use of variables and equations are woven throughout the course.

Math Super Bowl Problems ranged from simple speed based problems to harder more complex problems. All problems were based on material covered over the course of the year making the game a good review for the upcoming test.

Can you solve a few problems that were presented during Super Bowl Math? Answers below but no cheating:

  1. Write in scientific notation: 8,915,000
  2. Round to the nearest hundred thousand 123,750,000
  3. Solve for x: 6x+x=35
  4. Which is larger, 1.1 or the absolute value of -2.36?
  5. Solve for n: (-1.5)(n)(-0.8)=(-12)(-1.5)(-2)
  6. If Kenny buys 9 pairs of Elites, 3 at $16.00 each and 6 at $24.00 each, what is the average cost of a pair?
  7. One of the field goal questions: Sarah's family was going to the Super Bowl. It cost $500 a piece for tickets. Each person had $50 to spend on food and shirts. Gas for the car round trip was $25. How much money did they spend in total on their family of five if they came home with $34 left from all their spending money.

Answers:

  1. 8.195 x 10 (to the 6th power)
  2. 123,800,000
  3. X=5
  4. the absolute value of -2.36
  5. n=30
  6. $21.33
  7. Sarah's family spend $2,741 on their trip to the Super Bowl